Author: Owen Roberts

Canadian bacon is not immune to California farming laws

Food is a global commodity and changes in US agriculture usually impact Canadian farmers as well.   So it’s not surprising that pork producers here are concerned about pending California legislation requiring more floor space for breeding pigs, egg-laying chickens and veal calves – not just by the state’s own producers, but all jurisdictions that sell into the large California market. Photo:

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Ontario looks like two different worlds this growing season

Parts of Northern Ontario are parched, while areas in the south have been deluged. Farmers, livestock and communities are stressed. The minister of agriculture’s funding for emergency feed, water and fencing for cattle is welcomed, but farmers say it’s a stop gap. They are desperate for a reliable program to help them handle weather extremes. Photo: BeefNorth

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The best stops for food have lots more to offer

Farmers’ direct marketing efforts, such as roadside stands and farmers markets, do better in areas that already offer what the study called “natural” and “social” capital – specifically, farmland and cultural destinations for day tourists. Building a community with those attributes requires broad support. Photo:

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It’s packers vs farmers in this meat war

US President Joe Biden is introducing legislation that will make it easier for American livestock producers to sue unscrupulous meat processors. The legislation is aimed at encouraging more competition in a sector that has grown increasingly powerful with consolidations. Next up on the President’s agriculture agenda: clearer country of origin labelling, which could have a huge impact on Canadian beef producers. Photo:

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Urban Cowboy

Raising awareness and promoting dialogue about current food and agriculture issues.


Headshot of Owen Roberts

Owen Roberts is a faculty member in the Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communications program at the University of Illinois. As an agricultural journalist, he is the past president of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists and a lifetime achievement award recipient from the Canadian Farm Writers' Federation.

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